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This trail provides access to Grayback Mountain and the northern Siskiyou Crest


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Map Key

8.7

Miles

14.0

KM

Point to Point

6,630' 2,021 m

High

2,848' 868 m

Low

4,204' 1,281 m

Up

676' 206 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

46%

Max Grade (25°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Commonly Backpacked · Views

The upper section of this trail is usually snow-covered between December and May.

Description

NOTE: Do not confuse this trail with the Little Grayback Trail #921 on the Rogue-Siskiyiou National Forest (near Oregon’s Applegate Lake), the “Little Grayback Trail” on the Klamath National Forest in California, or the O’Brien Creek Trail #900, also on the Rogue-Siskiyiou National Forest, which is the usual approach for a climb of Grayback Mountain.

This trail was constructed by the Bureau of Land Management, with the help of local volunteers, between1989 and 2006; it crosses BLM adminstered lands and is not in a national forest. Grayback Mountain is, at 7,048 feet, the tallest peak in Josephine County, Oregon. This trail climbs the long ridge of Grayback Mountain up to Windy Gap, a saddle at about 6,500 feet just north of the summit.

This trail is accessed from a trailhead south of Williams, Oregon, off Rock Creek Road. Two miles up Rock Creek Road (BLM Road 39-5-14) you’ll reach a BLM sign and a gravel pullout area on the right - the Grayback Mountain Trail starts here. If you want to shorten the hike by a mile, continue on up BLM Road 39-5-14 to a wide spot where another road goes sharply to the left and the road straight ahead is blocked by a yellow gate. Park here (don’t block the road) and hike past the gate and up the road for a mile to join the Grayback Mountain Trail.

From the junction with the road, the trail rolls up and down for the first couple of miles. It soon climbs moderately, but steadily, along the southeast side of the ridge through forests of madrones and then pines. At about 4,400 feet, there are a series of long switchbacks where you'll first views of the Williams Creek Valley to the north. The trail continues to traverse the ridge before reaching another set of tight switchbacks in an area called Grayback Glades. At 5,700 feet, the trail turns southeast and climbs several more steeper switchbacks that go over the east ridge of Big Sugarloaf Peak (6,679 feet) and the drops down to its end at the Windy Gap saddle.

This trail does not go to the summit—no official trail does—but it’s a straightforward, almost brush-free, cross-country scramble from Windy Gap to the summit. The best views are from the summit of Big Sugarloaf.

Flora & Fauna

There may be poison oak and ticks.

Contacts

Shared By:

BK Hope

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 3 votes

#27429

Overall
  3.0 from 3 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
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3 Star
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2 Star
33%
1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#887

in Oregon

#27,429

Overall
25 Views Last Month
4,485 Since Nov 20, 2017
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Photos

Mount McLoughlin from Big Sugarloaf Peak
Nov 20, 2017 near Williams, OR
Mount Shasta from Big Sugarloaf Peak
Nov 20, 2017 near Williams, OR
Grayback Mountain from Big Sugarloaf Peak
Nov 20, 2017 near Williams, OR
Big Sugarloaf Peak from the end of the trail at Windy Gap
Nov 20, 2017 near Williams, OR
The Willams Creek Valley
Nov 20, 2017 near Williams, OR
The yellow gate beyond which is the road you can use to shorten the trail.
Nov 20, 2017 near Williams, OR

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Sep 16, 2022
Daniel Iwulski
Mar 29, 2015
BK Hope
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